Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00
I never expected that looking out for my children would put me at the center of a public storm, and had no desire for media attention, yet here I am. Once again, I find myself having to respond to inaccurate stories.
First, I did not go to the media with the story of what followed the choking incident at Jackson. If I were going to bring that story to the media, I would have done it three months ago. I chose not to in an effort to keep everything positive for the children and the district. However, I was approached by the media after a letter that I had sent was given to reporters by Mrs. Parrino.
The letter is referred to as the “Ramos letter.” Laurain Jones and I wrote it in response to the board’s request for a detailed timeline of events following our request to meet with them.
So, NO, I didn’t just arbitrarily write a 5-page letter to the board. We followed the chain of command ending with the BOE. When I sent my response to the board on April 8, I considered it over.
A recent article in the Williston Times (not this paper) states: “She said the incident might not have been a factor in Hale’s decision to resign if the board had agreed to a meeting.” Totally not my words. I have spoken to the reporter, who apologized, saying, “that’s what I thought you meant.” Let me share what I said:
“It has been an unfortunate chain of events. I don’t feel that the situation was handled properly from the beginning. I feel that if we had met with the board and were able to ask and answer questions, there would have not been a continued exchange of e-mails increasing frustration levels and ultimately leading to Mr. Hale’s comments.
“While I don’t condone what Mr. Hale said, I certainly would not have taken action against him. We spoke about it, and as he did with the board, he apologized, I accepted, and it was over.
“I just want this to all end and the district to be able to again focus on the education of the children and not childish nonsense.”
Unfortunately, it didn’t end because Mrs. Parrino took it upon herself to not only release confidential e-mails between board members, but also personal e-mail exchanges between myself, Laurain Jones and the board. Mrs. Parrino made them public in what I see as an attempt to go out in a blaze. Mr. Hale resigned. That’s where it should have ended.
Mrs. Parrino’s comments to the press two weeks ago and her release of the e-mails brought up a situation, involving children, that was over. Mrs. Parrino, you brought turmoil to a finally settled district, and your blatant disregard for children has not gone unnoticed. I am disgusted that you would go to such great lengths to stir the pot and drag children into it.
To Mr. Hale: neither I nor anyone else could ever take away what you have done for the children in this district for many years. As I said to you, I was disappointed in what you said regarding a situation involving my child. You took ownership for your words, you apologized, I accepted and it is a disgrace that this is how it has to end.
In closing, I would greatly appreciate it if anyone has any questions or would like to see the letter that I sent to the Board, please just ask. There is nothing worse than coming into the middle of a conversation, hearing only parts of it, and drawing your own conclusions. I myself can see how reading the article without knowing the background can raise questions and anger.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A new proposal by interim Town of North Hempstead Supervisor John Riordan seeks to hike pay for elected officials. Riordan's plan would have board members’ salaries jump by $15,000 to a total of $55,000, an increase of approximately 37.5 percent. Other proposed salaries would be $138,000 for the supervisor, $115,000 for the receiver of taxes and $105,000 for the town clerk.
Riordan introduced the proposal at the last town board meeting, on Nov. 19, requesting that a resolution be placed on the agenda setting Dec. 10 for a public hearing to consider the adoption of an amendment that would enable the salary increases for the 2014 calendar year.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The spirit of giving during the holiday season is ramping up and two Mineola-based organizations were one of the first beneficiaries. The Family & Children’s Association and the Winthrop Cancer Center for Kids recently received 325 Toys
“R” Us gift cards totaling $8,125 from MSC Industrial Direct Co., a metalworking supply company headquartered in Melville. The two groups have received gift cards from MSC’s Annual Toys “R” Us Holiday Gift Card Program for the past several years.
The Family & Children’s Association is a multi-faceted organization that helps foster children, homeless youth, runaway teens, struggling families, veterans, and even senior citizens. While the association has a hand in many types of community outreach, it started out as an orphanage and still places an important emphasis on housing. The goal is simple—to keep families together.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
MAA Travel Soccer teams wrapped up their respective fall 2013 seasons recently. Two MAA teams won titles this season in the Long Island Junior Soccer League; the BU13 Mineola Empire went 9-0-1 and the GU14 Red Bulls enjoyed a 8-1-1 campaign to each win first place trophies. The GU11 Honey Badgers went undefeated (6-0-2) and finished in second place in their division, as did the GU15 Mini-Mustangs with a 7-1-1 season record.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.